Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Revolution Won't Be Televised But You Can Follow It on Twitter

As the Quebec Spring unfolds and the students continue their protests in the streets, it has become apparent that there is a big disconnect between the generations with regard to how they use the mediums of communication.

Government dominates the airwaves.  Press conferences are convened; interviews are given; one to many messaging holds, and the government perspective is duly broadcast to an undifferentiated public.

Related Posts

Protesters, on the other hand, make use of social media.  Many to many messaging reigns.  No one party can dominate the exchange.  In fact, the government is largely absent from the social media platforms as it tries like many of us to follow the unfolding of events in real time via Twitter and Facebook.

Even traditional media journalists set up their Tweet Decks so they can follow what's going on in the streets.

I think there is something profound going on here that indicates that the advances in Information and Communications Technology are bringing about fundamental changes to the way the body politic governs itself.

The masses can no longer be told what to think because they have largely tuned out from the traditional channels of communication: newspapers, television, and radio, in favor of getting information from networked sources.

As a result, the gate keeper function that traditional media plays in a society -- what gets said by whom on which topics -- is being swept aside by an avalanche of likes and retweets.

How this gets played out remains to be seen, but it shouldn't be taken for granted that the new emerging counter culture will be co-opted as easily as the baby boomers were.

Conspicuous consumption may give way to ecological concerns, economic growth to sustainable societies, and oligarchic rule to participatory democracy.

Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish and he will feed himself for a lifetime.  Give him a smart phone with an internet connection and he can participate in the sustainable management of the planet's fish stocks.

P.S.  Shortly after I finished writing this post, the Minister of Education appeared in a press conference and announced that she was stepping down from her post and leaving politics altogether.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be reviewed before posting. Civility is a must.